How to Give Yourself a “Mental Shampoo” in 30 Minutes or Less

When I’m feeling stressed or when life’s responsibilities and demands start to feel like they’re too much to handle all at once, I’m reminded of one of my favourite quotes.

It’s attributed to Dr. Sara Jordan, a top gastroenterologist born in 1884 and the physician of former American President John K. Kennedy (and other Kennedy family members).

The message is simple but filled with meaning:

Every day, give yourself a good mental shampoo.

Dr. Sara Jordan
Mental shampoo quote sm

For me, a mental shampoo might mean a little relaxation, a little mental de-cluttering. It can mean a focused effort to choose and work on priorities, instead of taking on and trying to accomplish everything all at once.

It can mean making a master list of all family/personal and work/business “to dos” to get them done or delegate them. It can mean sitting with a cup of tea, taking stock of what needs to be done now and what might be able to wait.

I’m thinking about this a lot right now as we are waiting for a conditional offer on our house to firm up, looking for a new place to live, preparing to move, preparing to travel out of country for my brother’s wedding, all while settling into a new office in a nearby town, welcoming new clients and working hard to maintain and deliver my current business services.

It would be an understatement to say, it’s pretty darn busy around here!

So, as I prepare to move, packing up favourite belongings and donating others that I no longer need, this article from one of my monthly newsletters last year really resonates. I hope you also find it helpful!

* * * * *

Fall is ideal for clearing out and de-cluttering our physical and mental space. That means that one of the best things we can do for ourselves this time of year is to let go of anything and everything that no longer serves us.

These may be physical items like clothes that no longer fit, electronics that don’t work or kitchen equipment that isn’t supporting the healthy lifestyle we want to live (hello broken blender or plastic Tupperware containers!).

It may be old habits like indulging in desserts every night or not drinking enough water. It may be old attitudes like “I’m not good enough… smart enough… rich enough, etc.” It may even be old relationships, like loving someone who doesn’t love you back or holding a grudge for something that was a simple misunderstanding.

Whatever your baggage, there is no better time than now to let it go. 

Set aside 30 minutes to do this. Here’s how:

  • Spend 10 minutes thinking about one thing that you no longer need or have any use for.
  • Spend 5 minutes thinking about whether this is something that should be donated or recycled (if physical) or 1 small goal you could set to help yourself conquer a bad habit (such as planning higher protein, lower carb meals at dinner to help regulate blood sugar levels and eliminate after-dinner sugar cravings).
  • Take action by spending 10-15 minutes getting rid of this one thing. It could mean phoning a charitable organization to schedule pick-up of an old appliance or perhaps setting aside one hour this Saturday to plan your healthy meals for next week. It could mean committing to 30 minutes of exercise a day or booking a spa date with some of your best girl friends. Whatever you choose, make it something with a concrete result.

When we get rid of, give away and give up anything that we no longer use or have any use for, we naturally make space in our lives, our heads and our hearts for new activities, new friends and new opportunities.

So in the next thirty days, I hope you’ll commit to spending some time scrubbing your physical and mental space so you’re primed to accept the many new opportunities that will flow your way when you suddenly have the space to accommodate them.

You’ll be amazed at how effective this is!

And hopefully, you’ll feel even more energized and inspired about what lies ahead.

I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Life is a plate… Eat up!



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